Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter – Psalm 146

 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
    I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Put not your trust in princes,
    in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
    on that very day his plans perish.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made heaven and earth,
    the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
    who executes justice for the oppressed,
    who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
    the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
    the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the sojourners;
    he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
    but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10 The Lord will reign forever,
    your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Which world leader or important figure was exposed as a hypocrite or a fraud this week? The psalmist seems like he is speaking directly to this generation when he urges us not to trust in princes. They cannot save us. They can only govern us. The real foe is not bad tax policy or failures to properly oversee the state. Our real foe is death. In the days of the pandemic, many turned to scientists like Dr. Fauci and hoped that he and others like him might be the ones to rescue us from this dreaded disease. After all, it worked with Jonas Salk and polio a couple of generations ago.

 I am all for obedience to the duly constituted authorities. What is more, as an academic myself, I think we need to listen to those who have studied deeply the causes and potential treatments for disease. But I will not entrust myself to them, not wholly, not really. Only One gets that place in my praise and trust. That One of course is God. For medical science can at best only delay death’s war against me. If I observe all the good pandemic distance and hygiene, eat right, exercise every day, and follow every suggestion of my doctor, I will die anyway. Trust not in the princes of politics or the sciences. They cannot help you that day. Only One can help you. He has conquered your death by taking it to himself on a cross and shattering its power on Easter morning.

I will praise the LORD for as long as I have my being. That will be a very long time indeed. I am blessed. For I have God as my helper. He has an eye on me. He made this universe and he will reign forever. I am secure.

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